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  1. Legal marijuana debated as Belize joins regional push on drugs

    16 July 2012
    Other news

    Marijuana possession may be decriminalized in Belize as the Central American nation joins a list of countries from Mexico to Uruguay whose leaders have called for alternatives in the U.S.-led war on drugs. Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s government has appointed a committee to evaluate the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana. (See also: Support continues to flow for decriminalization of marijuana possession)

  2. Portuguese drug policy shows that decriminalisation can work

    09 December 2012
    Other news

    The Home Affairs Select Committee in the United Kingdom report on drug policy draws on lessons from Portugal’s decriminalisation of drug possession and puts forward a case for the UK reconsidering its own policies. Alex Stevens assesses the situation in Portugal, noting that while decriminalisation has coincided with a fall in the most problematic forms of drug use, it is not the only factor. (See also: Portugal: Ten Years After Decriminalization)

  3. The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs in 2016

    Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch
    16 February 2015
    Article

    In April 2016, representatives of the world’s nations will gather to evaluate drug policy in a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS). While prohibitionist policies are still the norm, a rising tide of voices are demanding evidence based responses that respect human rights, promote public health, and reduce crime.

  4. heroin_syringe

    Decriminalise heroin and cocaine says Belfast drugs worker

    14 February 2013
    Other news

    One of Northern Ireland's most senior drugs workers has said that class A drugs like heroin should be decriminalised, regulated and made available on prescription. "I think the impact of decriminalising, of regulating, of taking this activity out of the hands of organised crime, is the way to improve our society right now," said Michael Foley, the head of the Belfast Trust's Drug Outreach Team.

  5. David Cameron urged to take 'now or never' step on drugs reform

    09 December 2012
    Other news

    David Cameron should urgently set up a royal commission to consider all the alternatives to Britain's failing drug laws, including decriminalisation and legalisation, an influential cross-party group of MPs has concluded. The Commons home affairs select committee says after taking evidence from all sides of the drug debate, that "now, more than ever" there is a case for a fundamental review of all UK drug policy. (See also: Committee calls for Royal Commission to examine UK Drug Policy)

  6. Nick Clegg and David Cameron clash over drug law reforms

    14 December 2012
    Other news

    Divisions between David Cameron and Nick Clegg over Britain's "war on drugs" emerged on Friday after the Liberal Democrat leader said that current policy was not working and accused politicians of "a conspiracy of silence". He said Cameron should have the courage to look at issues such as decriminalisation or legalisation of drugs. (See also: Nick Clegg calls for royal commission on drugs reform)

  7. Decriminalise possession of drugs, celebrities urge government

    02 June 2011
    Other news

    Dame Judi Dench, Sir Richard Branson, and Sting have joined an ex-drugs minister and three former chief constables in calling for the decriminalisation of the possession of all drugs. The high-profile celebrities together with leading lawyers, academics, artists and politicians have signed an open letter to David Cameron to mark this week's 40th anniversary of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. The letter, published in a full-page advertisement in The Guardian, calls for a "swift and transparent" review of the effectiveness of current drugs policies.

  8. Liberal Democrats want inquiry into decriminalising drug possession

    04 August 2011
    Other news

    Liberal Democrats are expected to call for an independent inquiry into the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs. A motion to be put at the party's annual conference next month is likely to be passed. It would be the first government-sponsored inquiry into decriminalisation, but is unlikely to have the support of David Cameron who has hardened his approach to drugs after being a past advocate of more liberal legislation as a member of the home affairs select committee.

  9. It's drugs politics, not drugs policy, that needs an inquiry

    Simon Jenkins
    16 October 2012
    Other news

    What should be researched is not drugs policy but drugs politics, the hold that taboo has on those in power, and the thrall that rightwing newspapers have over them. This has nothing to do with public opinion, which is now strongly in favour of reform. Most sensible people find the present regime disastrous and want drugs regulated, rather than the wild west that is the urban drug scene today. It is politicians who think "soft on drugs" implies some loss of potency. It is the greatest single failure of modern statecraft.

  10. Criminologist refutes cannabis-related crime increase claims

    07 April 2013
    Other news

    Criminologist Professor Alex Stevens has refuted media reports that reducing penalties for cannabis possession has led to increased drug use, crime and health problems. He said published data shows that these claims are unfounded and in fact highlight that cannabis use and crime have gone down since the 2004 declassification of cannabis to a class C substance. (See also: Shock Press: British papers misrepresent drug statistics)

  11. Class A drugs 'should be decriminalised,' says former drug advisor Professor David Nutt

    30 May 2012
    Other news

    Drugs such as LSD and MDMA should be decriminalised and sold in pharmacies, the government's former chief drug advisor has said. Professor David Nutt said that many substances currently banned are no more toxic than alcohol and that the potential penalty and criminal record which go with them amount to more harm than the drugs themselves. He added that he was not in favour of full legalisation and "selling heroin in supermarkets" but said a system whereby drugs - including Class A substances - were sold in pharmacies could work.

  12. Decriminalise drug use, say experts after six-year study

    15 October 2012
    Other news

    A six-year study of Britain's drug laws by leading scientists, police officers, academics and experts has concluded it is time to introduce decriminalisation. The report by the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), an independent advisory body, says possession of small amounts of controlled drugs should no longer be a criminal offence and concludes the move will not lead to a significant increase in use. (See also: Case for drug decriminalisation rests on failure of 40-year-old law)

  13. Drugs in the UK: Why we need to talk about regulation and decriminalisation

    30 January 2015
    Other news

    Fighting the war on drugs in the UK costs an estimated £13 billion annually.

  14. john-hogg

    Police force gives cannabis users green light to grow drugs

    21 July 2015
    Other news

    Durham Police has given users the green light to grow cannabis at home after declaring that officers will no longer proactively target small scale producers. In a move, which will be seen as a step towards decriminalisation, Durham's Police Commissioner Ron Hogg said it will only go after people if there is a complaint or if they are being "blatant", while the force will continue to tackle large scale cannabis farms. (See also: Cannabis users won't be a priority for County Durham Police | Durham police stop targeting pot smokers and small-scale growers)

  15. molly-meacher

    Decriminalise drugs – it would reduce the level of harm in Britain

    13 January 2013
    Other news

    The all-party parliamentary group on drug policy reform undertook an inquiry into the implications of the arrival of "legal highs" – a new substance appeared on the UK market every week in 2012. The prime minister says the current policy is working. I wish it were. But as the use of cannabis has declined by a few percentage points over the past few years, the use of "legal highs" has soared. The position for drugs users is therefore more dangerous than it was a few years ago.

  16. Norman Baker: 'Genie is out the bottle' on drug reform

    30 October 2014
    Other news

    Westminster has finally reached a tipping point in the drug debate and radical change is now becoming possible, Norman Baker has said. The Liberal Democrat Home Office minister was speaking to Politics.co.uk after the publication of a government report on international drug laws which found no correlation between the severity of a country's policy and levels of drug use. It is unprecedented for the Home Office to publish a report which casts doubt on its own policy for the last 40 years and many reformers are becoming increasingly confident that it could herald a sea-change in Westminster's view on the issue.

  17. spice-rolling

    Make legal highs available for sale, government urged

    14 January 2013
    Other news

    The least harmful new "legal highs" should be made readily available for sale under strictly regulated conditions rather than being immediately banned as happens now, according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform (APPG). Senior police officers told the inquiry into the new psychoactive synthetic drugs, which are appearing in Britain at the rate of more than one a week, that the existing criminal sanctions for drug users is doing nothing to reduce their use. (See also: Decriminalise drugs, inquiry by cross-party peers says and From mephedrone to Benzo Fury: the new 'legal highs')

  18. Huge majority thinks 'war on drugs' has failed, new poll finds

    04 October 2014
    Other news

    An increasing proportion of Britons favours a more liberal approach to drugs and would support decriminalisation strategies, according to a comprehensive survey commissioned by the Observer. An overwhelming majority believes that the so-called "war on drugs" is futile, with 84% saying that the decades-long campaign by law enforcement agencies against the global narcotics trade can never be won. The proportion of Britons who believe certain drugs should be decriminalised has risen from 27% to 39% since 2008. (See also: Britain divided: how we really feel about drugs)

  19. UK should begin decriminalising drugs, say Richard Branson and Nick Clegg

    03 March 2015
    Other news

    Sir Richard Branson and Nick Clegg are urging the UK to begin decriminalising the use and possession of almost all drugs, following the example of Portugal. The Virgin founder and deputy prime minister argue in a Guardian article that the "war on drugs" has failed. "As an investment, the war on drugs has failed to deliver any returns," they write. "If it were a business, it would have been shut down a long time ago. This is not what success looks like." (See also: Knives out for Clegg as anti-drugs lobby targets Lib Dems)

  20. dominique-broc-trial

    Les Cannabis Social Clubs partent en fumée

    19 June 2013
    Other news

    Les Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC) sont en plein bad trip. Ces coopératives d’autoproducteurs avaient lancé en mars une vaste opération de désobéissance civile, sommant le gouvernement «de prendre ses responsabilités» sur la dépénalisation de la marijuana. Le tribunal de grande instance de Tours a prononcé, hier, la dissolution de la structure fédérant l’ensemble des Cannabis Social Clubs français. Ses membres ont désormais l’interdiction de se réunir.

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